tv [untitled] February 20, 2013 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
>> san francisco is home to some of the most innovative companies of the 21st century. this pioneering and forward looking spirit is alive in san francisco government as well. the new headquarters of the san francisco public utilities commission at a5 25 golden gate avenue is more than just a 13-story building and office ablation. instead, city leaders, departments and project managers join forces with local architectural firms ked to build one of the greatest office buildings in america. that's more than a building. that's a living system. ♪ ♪
when san francisco first bought this land in 1999, it was home to a state office building. >> this was an old eight-story brown building the state owned and the workers' comp people were in that building. it was an old dee correctvth it building for decades. when i was a member of the board of supervisors, all of us wondered why we hadn't done anything there and the mayor thought the same. >> if an earthquake happened, the building was uninhabitable. it sat there vacant for quite a while. the city decided to buy the building in 1999 for $2. we worked and looked at ways that we can utilize the building for an office building. to build an icon i can building that will house a lot of city departments. >> the san francisco public utilities commission has an important job. we provide clean, pristine public drinking water to 2.6 million people in the san francisco bay area from the
hetch hetchy regional water system. with also generate clean renewable energy for city services like public buses, hospitals, schools, and much more. and finally, we collect and treat all the city's wastewater and stormwater making it safe enough to discharge into the san francisco bay and pacific ocean. >> in 2006 the puc was planning a record number of projects. >> the public utilities commission is a very infrastructure-rich organization. we're out there rebuilding the water system. we've budget working on power generation in the country. we've been doing sewer for the city. we're looking at a brand-new rebuild of all watt systems in san francisco and we haven't had a home that's been other than mental. >> they staff over 900 people. the puc is in two office locations. >> you know, this is such a great place for a building. if the puc owned that building and we could make that the icon i can sustainable building puc represents, wouldn't be a
dramatic idea? >> so, one of the major decisions we made was we wanted to make a statement with this building. we wanted this building to be a lead platinum building which is very few buildings in san francisco that achieved this mark. >> leadership and energy environmental design, it takes a look at the way we think about the places where we live and work. i like to think of it as designed for human and environmental health. lead addresses five categories that enhances environment. indoor air quality, energy, water, materials and resources, and sustainable sites are the five categories for the lead. you can go for several gold or platinum certifications. >> the city wanted to be silver lead status. . maybe gold was a stretch. and people said, if we're going to be a sustainable organization that the pucs this has got to be the top of the line. it's got to be a lead platinum building. what does that mean to us?
we run water, power, and sewer. so, those are some of the biggest things involved in lead platinum. ♪ ♪ >> by late 2008 the project, as we got the contractor on board and we were able to start pricing it, we're a multi-, multi-, multi-million dollar over budget. >> the story a lot of people don't know after we got select today do this project, the first price we came in with was $180 million. and the city said, you know, this is a great building, but we just don't want to spend that much money. so, the project was on the verge of being canceled. >> if you're looking at why this building came to be, in many ways it also included mayor gavin newsome, particularly, who really had an affection for this building. he saw the design. he saw the potential. he wanted to make sure that that building got built. and he said, do what you need to do, but please, if you can
make that building work, we need to have that building in civic center. >> i happened to be at a green conference santa clara. he said you shouldn't cancel that project. can you work with us? michael cohen phoned me up the next day. can we cut $40 million out of this project? it was one person more responsible than any others, it's tony irons, was the architect that was responsible for the revitalization of city hall who came to my office and said, we cannot abandon this. we can't walk away from this project. we have an opportunity to really take a lot of our values and principles, particularly raising the bar as we did as a city on our green building standards, mandating the most aggressive green building standards for private construction anywhere in the united states. and showcasing them in this new building. >> the city for the sfpuc, it was critical that the building stay as a lead building. the easiest thing to do to cut out millions of dollars, let's
just go from lead platinum to lead gold. but that wasn't the objective. this needed to be the best example of energy conservation of any office building in the united states. >> we became involved in the san francisco public utilities headquarter project during the time when the project was at a stand still for a number of reasons, largely due to budget issues. and at the time we were asked to consider an alternative design using concrete rather than the scheme that was potentially planned for previous to that, which was a steel frame structure that used hydraulic dampers to control seismic motion. >> so, i met with my team. we worked hard. we came up with a great idea. let's take out the heavy steel structure, let's put in an innovative vertical post tension concrete structure, great idea. we did that. a lot of other things. and we came up with a price of 140 million. so, we achieved that goal. and, so, when we first started
looking at the building, it was going to cost a lot of money. because of the way it was being built, we could only get 12 floors. we wanted more space for our employees. we ended up going and saying, okay, if we do a concrete building instead, which was web core's idea, we can get 13 floors, not 12 floors. the concrete doesn't require much space between the floors as a steel building does. and it could be cheaper. yes, more space, less money, great idea. ♪ ♪ >> we know that right now there are things happening in power, with sewer, with water that are not always proven technologies, but they're things that are enough proven you should take a bit of a risk and you should show others it can be done. >> we're showing the world, suddenly had wind turbines which they didn't have before. so, our team realizing that time would change, and realizing where the
opportunities were today, we said, you know what, we started out as really something to control wind as an asset, when you combine today's technology becomes something entirely different. >> wind turbines in an urban environment is a relatively new concept. there are a few buildings in other major cities where they have installed wind turbines on the roof. and wind turbines in buildings are effective. >> the discussion was do we do that or not? and the answer was, of course. if they're not perfect yet, they're building a building that will last 100 years. in 100 years someone is going to perfect wind efficient turbines. if these aren't right, we'll replace them. we have time to do that. >> the building that's two renewable energy generations. wind turbines located on the north facade. two different levels of photo volume takes. >> we have over 600 solar panels and three platforms on the building, and four integrated wind turbines.
the wind turbines and the solar panels produce 7% of the building's energy. and we're reducing the use of energy here by 32% in the office building. >> the entire building is controlled by a complex computer system which monitors and adjusts air, heating and lights as well as indoor shades. >> the building is going to be a smart building. it's going to have all integrated features. so, it has a monitor on the roof that knows where the sun is. as it gets warmer or colder, it heats and cools the building. as it gets lighter, shades can go up or down to make sure that you're not over using any kind of heat or air conditioning, but as it gets darker the shades can go back up. the lights inside the building self-adjust depending how close they are to the light sources outside, how light it is, how dark it is. so, you're not using energy
more than you need. >> we also have occupancy sensors. if nobody is in that room, lights turn off. it's likely to have sustainable features. it's another thing to have an integrated systems sustainability. >> when you have a building that's lead platinum, there are a couple themes important. one is daylight harvesting where you harvest the daylight and have it penetrate the building so that people have views, they see sunlight, which means that partitions and workstations are much lower so that people can see. >> so, human comfort combined with light reduction, the amount of electric light reduction, all with the aim of creating, you know, a marvelous workplace that people want to come to, feel comfortable working in, thrive at what they're doing, all kind of integrate together. and the daylighting lighting strategy is a very important part of that equation. >> one of the keys to this
building is that we're maximizing the use of natural daylight to light the building. >> here in our south facade we have light shells. they help shade the floor, but as well light bounces off of the light shells into the interior of the floor providing more daylight into the interior of the floor. lighting is both the greatest use of energy consumption in an office building, but it also contributes to the largest amount of heat gain in the building. we're maximizing the use of natural daylighting. we also have light sensors that minimize the use of artificial lighting. >> by having light outside the building skin, what that does is we are mitigating it before it hits the glass. we have a high performance, low formal gain graph. the system does not have to work as much to either cool the building or heat the building. >> this building also
incorporates or utilizes under floor system for delivery of heating and cooling to the building. this in conjunction with the high efficiency equipment that we've installed in the building reduces the consumption of energy for heating and cooling by 51%. >> we have two destination elevators. destination elevator save 35 to 40% of the electrical energy over traditional elevator. these elevators save energy by using a regenerative drive. when the cars are going up empty or down full of people, they generate electricity that goes back into the building grid. these elevators have energy by grouping people going to the same floor in the same cab. and the way they work is you have a shared elevator call button in the lobby. you would indicate which floor you're going to, for instance like 3, and it will direct me to elevator c. so, i'll go to an elevator with people that are going to that same floor. what's also interesting is inside the elevator floor cab there are no selection buttons
because i selected my floor in the lobby. this takes some getting used to as we're all accustomed to choosing our floor inside the elevator cabs. ♪ ♪ >> another thing we saut that was a challenge for this building was the permitting process for the delivery machine to use reclaimed water in an office building. and i think that we really broke the ground for future use to be much more commonplace for utilization of reclaimed water in office buildings. this building uses 60% less water than a typical osv building. that's achieved by using rainwater for landscaping, treating wastewater on-site for reuse in the building's toilets. >> the machine is an ecological waste treatment system for water resouls. so, the living machine to accelerate what happens naturally in nature is
biomimickery that happens in tidal estuaries. it brings in nutrients to the microbes. it's delivered in the air, and does the rest of the process, chewing up those nutrients in the water and producing nitrogen and carbon. we're doing that in a system where we're creating 12 to 16 tides per day. >> the wastewater for our building begins its journey by travel tog our primary tank which is a fairly normal looking manhole. beneath these manholes is a 10,000 gallon primary tank. there are two chambers. the trash chamber which filters out the trash and plastics and the organic solids settle out just as normal wastewater treatment process is. the water then flows to an equalization tank, a recirculation tank, and then on
to tidal flow wetlands cell 1a. all those these cells look to be only 3 or 4 feet deep, they're actually 8 feet deep below this concrete sidewalk. the water repeatedly cycle into the cell from the bottom up. as the water comes up into this cell, it meets the microbes here to treat the wastewater. they flourish off the organics found in the wastewater. after multiple cycles, most of the wastewater treatment has already occurred and the water then flows to the vertical cells located around the corn iron polk street. 2c is located half outside on polk street and half inside in the building lobby. after the final polishing, the water flows to the disinfection room of the basement of the building. there the water goes through two disinfection processes. first ultraviolet light, and second a dosing of chlorine. the treated water is stored in a 5,000 gallon reclaimed water tank where it is pumped throughout the building for
toilet flushing purposes. the treatment cycle is complete and the water is reused again and again. this new building features a rainwater harvesting system. rainwater is captured from the building's roof and the children's play area along the side of the building and sent down to our disinfection room where there is a 25,000 gallon sis tern. the rainwater receives minor treatment and is used to irrigate the building's trees and landscaping. >> when we're resues using water we have on-site, we're not purchasing new water and we're also not putting sewage down into the sewer system which is costs money. this is a demonstration project of 5,000 gallons a day. it is the beginning of understanding and feeling comfortable with this technology that can be scaled up into eco districts and community scale systems, campus-type systems where in those situations when the water is reused and the numbers are much higher, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 gallons a day, imagine the savings on that that you're getting. you're not purchasing
freshwater and you're not using the sewer and being charged appropriately. this wastewater processing and reuse technology is cutting edge. and although it's been successfully implemented in other cities, it will be one of the first such installations in an urban office building. >> here is a city agency that treats wastewater, but they send no wastewater to the treatment facility. that says a lot. >> it's got a 12 gallon per day occupancy using 5,000 gallons per day with a building officing 1,000 people. that turns out to save over 2.7 million gallons a year. >> the public utilities commission runs water, power and sewer services for san francisco. we can't afford to be out of business after an earthquake. so, we're thinking about building a building. that building is going to hold our operations center and our emergency operations center for things like earth quack.
that building had to be immediately occupiable. great. but we can do better than that. so, this new technology that we ended up using was a concrete building that straps basically, that goes through the interior of the building and allow the building to turn or twist as part of an earthquake as it corrects itself. >> in the course for the puc building, we've actually incorporated in addition to that steel that's embedded in the monolithic concrete, specialized high strength cables that are not bonded to the sound concrete, but are threaded through essentially hollow conduits in the cast concrete. and when those cables are spread, they're actually anchored and they're actively in other floors and pressing down, forcing that concrete wall into a state of compression. and that's the characteristic which allows the building to shake, absorb energy from the earthquake, deform, and also come back to its original
geometry. what that meant was the building would be functional. it meant it wouldn't have to be abandoned and fixed. >> we have probably the greatest specification for concrete ever developed for a project that has a really innovative structural system. one of the things that's evident from the research that's been done is that concrete is responsible for a significant amount of co2 production. and that's worldwide. and we developed a way in which we could incorporate replacement material such as flag and fly ashe to supplement the portable cement and allow a big reduction in those carbon emissions associated with production from that poured cement. >> concrete for the building has a 70% replacement value with recycled materials fly ashe and recycled materials
that would otherwise go to waste. reducing our carbon footprint in half. >> the way that we often do buildings in the city are often projects in the city is we go out and we do a low bid. somebody bids on something, we have to do everything that's expected out completely. and everything after that thorable change prosecretary is very difficult. spec ed out. >> we use design bid delivery method. in this one we did a construction manager gc, which really means that we bring the contractor on board as we design and they participate in the design. it brings a lot of collaboration. >> the department of public works decided to try a more team oriented approach with this project. the best value approach. they really went to to us come on board as a team member and work with them. >> what that meant was the
contractor allowing key subcontractors such as the electrical, mechanical, plumbing systems, would always be reviewed and looked at for constructability, for cost constraints, for scheduling. >> and it was a risk for the city. it was a change for the city, it was something very, very different. we met all of our project parameters, the budget, the schedule. we love this project. it is a fantastic example of what can happen when you take a risk, you do something differently, and you work together. you get a great result. >> one of the things we're going to have in that building is going to be this media wall in the lobby. and that media wall has several things that it can show people, but one of the things it can show our employees and our visitors is how much energy, how much
water, what we're using in the building. >> the wall is based on building data. we have total energy use per floor. we also have energy use in the building today that will show information and percentages on how much is being used today versus an average day. there's also information from solar, how much solar the building is producing, and showing the savings from solar. we also have reclaimed water and that will be shown per month. the center section is dedicated to water, wastewater and power. we have live information showing us how much wastewater has been treated so far from the night before. there is also a twitter feed and information that anyone that comes in can see, you know, current news and information from the twitter. there's also bart information, when is the next bart leaving, when is the next train departing. and there is weather, hetch hetchy, and weather at san francisco. >> the physical arts wall is
comprised of 54 feet, 160 high-definition monitors that has a 3-d motion detection that allows you to approach the wall and then to look at the contents that is there in front of you, which is a beautiful artistic narrative. and then as you move towards it, it activates the content that comes up. >> this is one of the applications we developed with communications team at the puc and it's called, and it's about water cycle, how the water comes down from the snow in yosemite, into the mouth of the reservoir, gets treated, produces power, comes all the way down to the city and gets charged and leaves the bay. we developed a motion tracking system taw four cameras on the ceiling here which detects people when they approach the wall and presents information pop ups. so, you can enjoy it from a distance as a landscape, but once again up close there is another level of information that's educational about this
facility. >> fire fly by artist ned con is an art installation which rises straight from the golden gate avenue sidewalk to the top of the building. >> the fire fly wall will be 5 by 5 polley carbon plates that will move with the wind and show a wave effect in the daytime. when those also swing back and forth and they hit the fulcrum, it will also set up an led light that will cover the fire fly. so, at nighttime people in another part of san francisco can see the side of our building and about 20 feet wide and 10 stories high will be a wall that will flickr on and off like fire flies at nighttime. it will be so energy efficient that if all those lights go on, it will be the equivalent of a 40 watt bulb. and also the new piece of artwork going all the way down the side of the building, which
looks like this incredible wind ripples on a pond. and i thought, oh, my god, how incredible, how wonderful. >> inside the building we will have water walls in the main staircase, and the water will be dripping through the side of the wall. you'll be able to hear it, you'll be able to see it. we call the san francisco artists and galleries and said, hey, we want a building that is a place people want to come to work in and to visit. we're now going to be buying art from between 08 and 100 local artists in san francisco and the arts commission will be hanging in that art the next couple of months in the building. >> we'll have a cafe in the lobby. the cafe will be serving people there. they'll have a child care center on-site so people with children can come to work. if something happens to their child they can walk right downstairs. it has enough space for 65
kids. >> we looked at various ways that we could be creative in promoting alternative transportation. we did this by providing bike racks and showers in the building. we do see the number of parking spaces to two parking spaces and providing electrical charging stations for alternative vehicles. >> it's time for us to have a home that all of us can be proud of. >> and we couldn't do this without everybody working together on the one goal, which is, let's build something that reflects the honor of hetch hetchy, the honor of the greatest engineering feats, reflects what our puc does for our public, and for generations to come it will educate everybody. >> i'm really proud that one of the greenest and most sustainable buildings is here in norm in district 6.
the wind turbine, the solar power, the living machines, recycled water that ed and the mayor has already spoken to. and what's also amazing about this building is it's not just internally, but you can actually see it on the outside. so, when people are walking around the city they can actually see the green and environmental aspects. >> what better way to show that the puc cares about the environment and the puc is going to show everyone else, you can do this, too. and you can do it in a way that makes sense, that's affordable, and that is better for the environment. >> and this is the most energy efficient government building in the united states today, if not the world. and it is an example that the entire united states can look to and say, that's what we need to do to save our city hundreds of millions of dollars in energy consumption a year and set an example to everybody of how to save energy, to be green, to be sustainable, to be responsible.